Private dentist from Milton Keynes to help ease tooth pain for people in the slums of Kenya

A private dentist from Milton Keynes is heading to the slums of  Kenya to help hundreds of people who lack access to basic dental treatment.

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 2:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 3:13 pm

Dr Manish Gudka of Aspects Dental in Shenley Church End will be volunteering with the international dental charity Dentaid.

His wife Dr Ashika Shah will accompany him and they will be part of a team of UK dental professionals who will visit remote villages, slum areas and schools in Kenya to provide pain-relieving dental treatments and oral health advice.

A recent National Oral Health Survey in Kenya found three out of four children have gum disease and that more than 95% of adults had a dental problem in the last year.

Dental services in the country are limited and access to basic dental care is difficult to reach.

Many of the patients will have been suffering from long-term dental pain and most will have never seen a dentist in their life.

The team of dental professionals expects to see up to 100 patients per day and will be working alongside Kenyan dentists that Dentaid supports all year round. They will be giving oral health advice, applying protective fluoride varnish and establishing tooth-brushing programmes to help improve dental health in the country in the long-term.

Manish and his wife will be swapping their modern surgeries for portable dental equipment and will be working in remote communities using school desks and plastic seats as dental chairs.

After the volunteering trip, which runs from June 27 to July 12, Dentaid will continue to fund outreach clinics in Kenya and provide local dentists with equipment and support.

Ashika said: “We always look at ways in which we can give back to those less fortunate than ourselves. Having been dentists for a number of years, we thought what better way than to share our professional knowledge and skills, to help those who cannot access such care. We expect the volunteering project to be a lot of hard work but think that the rewards will far outweigh the challenges.”

Manish and Ashika are raising cash towards the project by organising a quiz night and charity car wash.

“The more funds that can be raised, the more we can give to the people in Kenya,” said Manish. “For some it might just be a toothbrush, toothpaste and some advice on cleaning the teeth. Small steps will hopefully help make big changes.”

Jacqueline James, overseas and volunteering manager for Dentaid said: “We are really excited to have both Manish and Ashika in our Kenya volunteering team and I’m sure they will do an amazing job providing dental care for those most in need. They have got their fundraising off to a great start and we are grateful to their patients and the local community for giving them so much support.”

You can donate to the project here